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Men-only historic Turkish Baths banned due to 'inappropriate behaviour'

London , Mon, 12 Dec 2011 ANI

London, Dec 12 (ANI): Men-only sessions at historic Turkish Baths have been banned by authorities on grounds of 'inappropriate behaviour' as officials owned up to hiding the incidents to shield the spa town's reputation.


The North Yorkshire town's Turkish Baths have offered single-sex sessions, as well as mixed sessions, since they opened back in 1897. They are one of only seven Victorian baths still in existence, the Telegraph reported.


Harrogate Council declared last month that it would be ending the all-male sessions in January, putting the blame on finances. But a councillor has now confessed covering up complaints about the antics of some bathers, revealing that she did not want to ruin the town's reputation.


Cabinet member for culture, Coun Caroline Bayliss asserted that the authority had been compelled to take the action following repeated allegations from members of the public, stretching back several years.


"It was the two items taken together," she said.


"I can defend my decision entirely on commercial grounds and I would far prefer to do so than sully the reputation of Harrogate."


"We have unfortunately had complaints from other male users of the Turkish Baths."


She divulged that the problems basically related to the repeated instances of 'inappropriate behaviour in a public place', and that the baths employed a large proportion of female staff.


Bayliss said that she came to know about the issue in June or July this year, shortly after being appointed as cabinet member for culture.


She right away ordered a review, which reported recently and announced the closure of the service in January 2012. (ANI)



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